Archive for November, 2010

Bloody Big Monster

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

This started as a larger test for my Kuretake brush pens as I now have a full set of 48 pens and I wanted to try them all out in a large drawing in my new A4 Moleskine to see how they blend etc. As per the title this very slowly became a monster in more ways than one. From start to finish this took around six weeks to complete, working for a few hours at a time most evenings and weekends. Once I had got about half way through adding the colour I was beginning to wonder why I had started in the first place. I still love the pens, their vivid colours and the way they blend but I don’t think I will tackle a drawing this large with these pens for a while.

Unfortunately the A3 scanner I have access to does not replicate colour very faithfully so this doesn’t show how bright it really is.

As this drawing took so long and I wasn’t sure if the colour would work well once the line work was finished I decided to scan it a few times during the process and I thought I might as well include them below.

While I was already working on my dragon one of the bloggers I follow, Jessica Doyle, posted her own beautiful dragon. Just thought you should know!

Natural History Museum

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

A couple of weekends ago I went out with the Drawing London on Location meetup group again. They were great company as usual but I had a very difficult day of sketching. I got off to a bad start as the tube was delayed so I missed the group meet at the tube station. I then spent at least an hour walking around the very busy Museum of Natural History trying to find something I wanted to draw. Everything that initially looked tempting was either too involved and would take too long, too crowded or at second glance just not right for me. I ended up spending the morning sketching a statue of a ‘bloke with a funny shaped head’ (Mat’s take on my sketch of Darwin). Then after meeting with people for lunch I ended up spending the best part of 2 hours searching both the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum again and finally in desperation did a few 10 minute sketches of the other sketchers. The (frankly crappy) results are below. The sketchers shown are Adam on the left, Lee on the right and some bloke who wasn’t with our group in the middle.

For some reason lately I have found it difficult to settle to anything. I’ve found it hard to get into books I’ve been trying to read, hard to keep working on the more involved drawings I have been doing, hard to find new things I really want to draw. Even simple decisions like what to eat for tea were becoming hard work. It is so frustrating and upsetting when you find yourself having to put a lot of effort into things that normally happen by themselves and feeling indifferent about things that ordinarily bring automatic pleasure. I have had occasions since I started drawing again when I have headed out to draw and had to head home frustrated and angry as nothing seemed right. But it has never been this difficult. I have to feel enthusiastic about the subject matter when I draw otherwise I can’t get into it and don’t enjoy it. Having only just rediscovered my enjoyment of drawing I feel quite anxious that I could lose it again.

Anyway, the apathetic, indecisive mood does seem to be on it’s way out now. I have very recently managed to finish the large project that I mentioned a couple of posts ago (I’ll post it here soon) and I’ve had a couple of other ideas for drawings that I am looking forward to exploring. I’m planning to go out sketching on location again this weekend so we’ll see how that goes.

Never Forget

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

I have a confession to make. I forgot to buy a poppy in time for remembrance day this year. I didn’t forget to remember though, so I decided to paint my own poppy.

My Grandad on my mother’s side fought in the second world war. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for him and so many others who fought to keep us safe and protect our freedom. In fact I can only imagine what it must have been like for anyone to live through either of the world wars. For people like my other Grandad who worked in the steel industry as a furnaceman, for obvious reasons a protected trade which meant he was not conscripted during the second world war. Though he must have been thankful to be able to stay at home with my Nana it must have been gruelling work to keep production levels as high as they needed to be and there must have been the constant worry that factories like his would be targeted. For the many women who were able to take up employment that would otherwise have been frowned upon or denied to them completely. A taste of independence that would be taken away again once the war ended.

I’m very thankful for all these people who worked so hard so that I could have all that I have now. Once again I am reminded that I hardly even know I’m born.

My London

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

I finished this a little while ago in my pocket moleskine. I used pilot G-Tec C4 pens for the buildings and the outlines. These gel pens are great for small detailed work like this because they produce such a fine line. I then added the colour on the Thames using my Kuretake Zig Real brush pens. This drawing took quite a while to complete and I was completely absorbed with it until I was finished. It was a good Job I had to go out to work while I was doing this or I probably wouldn’t have put it down at all even to eat or sleep. The finished product looks nothing like the original idea I had but I am really pleased with it. I think this may be my best drawing yet :)

I have now completed my set of Zig brush pens and have the full set of 48 colours. I’m currently working on a similar but larger drawing to really test them all out in my A4 moleskine. It is very detailed and is just as absorbing as this was so you may not see the finished product or anything else from me for a while. Here’s hoping it is worth the wait.

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Amy Stace published on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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A Game of Thrones
Read Recently
Her Fearful Symmetry
Water for Elephants
A Week in December
Tickling the English
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ
The Little Stranger
Thinking In Pictures and Other Reports from My Life with Autism
What Alice Forgot
Favorite Books
Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1
The Gargoyle
The Girl Who Played With Fire
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Gentlemen and Players
Breaking Dawn
Midnight Sun
New Moon
The Hobbit
The Book Thief
The Matchmaker of Perigord
The Lollipop Shoes
The Day of the Triffids
The Subtle Knife
The Kraken Wakes